Set Sail

Lately, I’ve been feeling like I’m standing on the edge of a cliff.  I see the world spread before me like food on a plate, but I don’t know what choices I’m going to make, or how I’m going to land when I do choose.  Some of my choices will matter, others – not so much.  When it comes to publishing a book, it feels like everything matters.  Envision, if you will, what it would feel like to know that once your very first book is published, it will be read by the public and critics alike.  It’s only natural to worry about how my book will be received – particularly if people find fault with it.  I am working through some of these feelings right now:  Have I done enough?  Am I good enough?  Will people like it?  Maybe I should go over it one more time – and one more time.  I could work on it for the next twenty years and still want to make it better.  But there comes a point when I have to let it go. The question is: “How do I overcome this paralyzing fear that I’ll get it wrong?”  The simple answer to this question, I have come to realize, is to change my perspective.  Whenever I’m struggling to face something, I talk to people, listen for an answer, and wait for a way through.   If I’m lucky, someone, or something will present itself that resonates as the truth, and I am able to move forward.

That moment of change came when I read a book by a young man I recently met at a motivational talk he gave on realizing your full potential.  In his book It’s About Time Justin Teeuwen writes: “Taking the risk to live your dreams is extremely rewarding. You will reach your purpose to the best of your ability, and will make the most of the journey, independent of the outcome.” p. 177  The underlined portion is, for me, the most powerful part of this book, and according to Justin, it is one of the most essential elements of his work.  To reach my purpose to the best of my ability reminds me that, in this moment, I have done everything I can to the best of my ability, to write a book I can be proud of.  There is nothing more I can do.  Whatever the outcome, I will be further ahead than what I would have been if I’d done nothing.  Justin’s words gave me the permission I needed to let go of my book and be proud, whatever the outcome.

You see, there will never be a perfect time when you will be unafraid.  The trick is, you have to learn to be comfortable with your discomfort.  When I realized this, I knew that if I wanted to overcome my fear, I had to just do it. It may be messy, it may be fine, but one thing for sure is, I will learn something along the way.

Overcoming a lifelong fear of something is certainly a confidence builder.  It makes you realized that you are a capable person who is able to grow.  However, this doesn’t mean that the next time you find yourself out of your comfort zone, you will be able to charge full steam ahead.  There will be many challenges in your life that will leave you feeling paralyzed and uncertain of how to proceed.  But what is a helpful in all of this, is to look for opportunities, messages, insights, and advice to help you see things from a different perspective.  In this way, you too, can move forward.
In the years to come, my abilities will increase, but when I am called to extend myself, I know that I can give nothing more than my best at any given moment in time, and it will be enough.  I don’t know about you, but I can live with that.

Related Link: In the Driver’s Seat
To order Justin’s Book: It’s About Time

Categories: Memoir

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